Rowingboat with two hulls, seek for information : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

During my Visit in Florida I saw a rowingboat for one person called SKIMMER. It had two hulls so it would be very difficult to fall into the water.Could somebody tell me were I get Information about this boat?

-- Freundorfer Theodor (, October 29, 2001


Sorry, that manufacturer is out of business. If you have to have a Skimmer, find a used one, but there aren't many around. I've heard that someone else is building a catamaran-type shell, but I don't have any info about that. The old-fashioned alternative, as always, is to practice in a monohull until you no longer feel unstable.

-- Kim Apel (, October 30, 2001.

Dear Theodor,

The Skimmer and other twin hulled rowing craft were discussed at some length in answer to a similar question from another rower. See Twin Hulled Rowing Boats under Boats on An article about a man who rowed the boat that you're interested in appeared in Open-Water Rowing issue #22. It was titled Joe Row.



-- Andre de Bardelaben (, October 30, 2001.

Theodor, Virus rowing boats in Florida has a cat-rowboat that I tried last Febuary. It was a real blast, easy to row and dry. Contact them if intereste

-- Cork Friedman (, October 30, 2001.

Dave Emmer, the original owner-designer of the ultralight catamaran rowing shell which had main office in Santa Cruz, CA passed away in 1999 or so. The business faded into obscurity as his estate was administrated I'm sure. Skimmer re-surfaced November 2001 with new owners and sent me a brochure from their new office: Skimmer Inc. PO Box 5110, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274-9998 Tel: 310.541.4686 or I own a 1993 model at 38 lbs light + 9 lbs. for the Piantedossi Oars. Unique, stable, fast and manuverable. You'll like them.

-- Lindsay Gow (, February 25, 2002.

I bought a second hand Skimmer about 9 years ago and I've been delighted with it ever since. It's stable, fast and great exercise. I checked out and they're going to send me some current info. I get all kinds of interest when people see me rowing it. Good luck in your search. Al

-- Al Johnston (, May 13, 2002.

I bought a used "Row-Cat" which I've enjoyed since finding it in 2000. (I drove 12 hours to where a boy scout camp was offering it for sale). It is an 18 foot fiberglass closed hull catamaran row boat for two rowers (using 9 foot oars). I have just one rowing station since my wife prefers to relax, eat and drink while she is suppose to give me rowing directions. I added some wood planking to make a wider and more sturdy deck. It lets me take my two big dogs out on it too, or load it with gear for ocean fishing. I also carry a small anchor that fits under the outrig slider. The boat moves nicely throught the water. We usually row out of Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles and enjoy the Santa Monica bay which has blue ocean swells, but unfortunately is also an incubator for sharks. (I carry a 10 foot electrical conduit pipe which is strong but light, to push sharks away. So far, haven't needed to even though I've caught small sharks while fishing.) For those long off-shore ocean rows, I also carry a small porta-potty that doubles as a back seat. As a life boat, I tow a cheap two person inflatable kayak of course, have a hand held VHF marine transceiver. Between me (the front rower) and the rear row station (now porta potty!) I bolted on a large blue plastic box with snap on lid to secure our food, water, radio, towels, and so on. My wife sits on it when I row, and it doubles as a dining table. I found that one of those cheap & light folding fabric seat stools fits nicely over the front rowing slider. (I have a sliding outrigger rather than a sliding seat.) That lets me sit close to the "table" for dining. My wife and I have had many moon lite nights enjoying a candle light dinner on our row cat floating in the Marina. This is the best combination of stability and speed you can get for the non- competitive rower that has a lot of uses in mind for a row boat. It's a fun boat. On the ocean, we have a hand held underwater viewer. We'll row into a school of sardines and then watch the underwater action. There's nothing like being just inches above the water while floating on the waves.

Unfortunately the firm that made my Row-Cat is long gone and I see nothing like it on the WWW, in boat magazines or on the water. The only downside is that its weight, somewhere around 120 lbs, and its 18' length makes it impractical to car top even on a van, so I had a trailer made for it. Were I to build one from scratch, I might look into air plane pontoons. Sail cat pontoons are too short, and motor pontoon boats' pontoons are too fat and heavy and being aluminum, don't take sea water well. Basically, the longer and skinnier the pontoon the better it is to maximize speed and capacity. If you find one of these boats used, you won't go wrong with it if you want an open water recreational row boat. The only other boat I might like to have is an 18' Whitehall decked out in teak, with a sail and a sliding seat row station.

~ Keith

-- Keith Dager (, September 15, 2002.

having converted a sailing catamaran, i can confirm that a double hull under oars only goes as fast as a monohull of the same length..............The other disappointment is not mentioned above; WINDAGE! It's a real discipling rowing a double hull to windward! I think i'd take my lady out in a conventional skiff although candles don't do so well in the wind but at least you're reducing your height [and hers] by having your bums at water level and feet lower still. The virtues of such craft do not compensate the rower in my opinion but they are::: excellent stand-up visibility over mangroves, banks and walls, safety from sealed hulls, ease of boarding on and off larger vessels and wharfs, stable base for fishing/diving/swimming and perhaps the mounting of a sun/rain shelter. I think they could be very useful as a ferry to moorings or islands but not a couple of hours rowing into the teeth of a gale.

-- martin ball (, August 25, 2003.

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